Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lumière by Jacqueline E. Garlick

Even in a land of eternal twilight, secrets can’t stay in the dark forever.

Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth has only one hope left: finding her late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator. It’s been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out forever over England.

But living in darkness is nothing new to Eyelet. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. And after her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine that was created with the sole purpose of being her cure.

Alone and on the run, she finally discovers the Illuminator—only to see a young man hauling it off. Determined to follow the thief and recover the machine, she ventures into the deepest, darkest, most dangerous part of her twisted world.

Revised edition: This edition of Lumière includes editorial revisions.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

As an adult reviewing a young adult book, I try to place myself back to how I used to think as a fifteen-year-old. I do believe Lumière will be a thrilling adventure for a teen, but it was difficult for the adult in me to enjoy it. Usually there is no issue, but in this case, the adult in me tainted the experience.

Lumière's beginning was slightly difficult to read, but filled with rich details that immerses the reader into the story. We meet Eyelet, who comes off as frantic, not thinking of consequences and just acting. Aside from important details being left out, leaving the reader confused, Eyelet was what made Lumière difficult for me to read. Impulsive, entitled, pushy, she is the epitome of what I would not like a teen to behave like. It's amazing she made it to the age of seventeen without someone clocking her.

With that being said, the addition of epilepsy made Eyelet more human to me, and made her journey and adventures more realistic in nature. Orphaned, on the run, Eyelet searches for the machine her father built to diagnose and cure her epilepsy, fearing being turned in for being Mad. (Click HERE for spoiler.)

Urlick was interesting to meet, with his intriguing backstory and physical maladies, but his nice & nasty attitude turned me off to him in a nanosecond. So what made the book most difficult to read is that not only couldn't I connect to either narrator, I actually disliked them on a personal level. In real life, if I met either of them, I wouldn't befriend them unless their behavior changed. So no matter how engrossing the storyline was, I had to suffer through the storytellers.

Steampunk: richly detailed, slightly confusing as names of things were never explained. The timeline: one paragraph to the next, where the scene flowed in the blink of an eye, a page later Eyelet would say it was the next day, not two minutes later, but nothing happened in between. At one point, it was 3 weeks later, from one scene to the next, but Eyelet thought to herself how she was mean to Urlick the day before (a major event in the book – the storm approaching) but it was most certainly three entire weeks (the passing storm and the two weeks after waiting for the criminals to be dropped off). This type of thing happened several times, confusing me further.

In conclusion: Lumière will delight young adult readers who don't have the capacity to look deeper beneath the plot issues. If steampunk is your genre of choice, no doubt this will be a great read.

I would read more by this author, as I enjoyed their storytelling and voice, but I will not be continuing on with this series as I did not enjoy Eyelet or Urlick as narrators.

Genre: Steampunk | Young Adult | Carnival curiosities |

Age range: 12+. Set in the Victorian era, Lumière adheres to rules of the era. No cussing, sexual content, slight violence. A recommended read for Young Adult who enjoy Steampunk or Fantasy.

What can I say? I love to write. I write every single day. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, or learning something new to incorporate into my business. (Yes, I run my own business...and love every minute of it!) My favourite moments in writing, are when the characters come to life in front of me and start arguing with me on my desk. I love when scenes download that way. Just like a movie. I call it being in the zone. Only trouble is, when I get in the zone, I can't get out of it. Once I'm in, I swear a bomb could go off and I wouldn't notice. Thus, children are sometimes left at school, and I'm notoriously late for everything. But just think what wonderful creations I'd miss out on if this weird phenomenon didn't exist in me!

Connect with Jacqueline

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Lumière (The Illumination Paradox #1) by Jacqueline E. Garlick to read and review.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz

She doesn’t just play, she kills it.

Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good.

Then she's accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they're also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who's so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who's trying to tell her something but is hiding even more?

And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Until Beth started out strong, very engaging and fast-paced, but it turned frustrating and extremely confusing.

Beth is grieving over the loss of her bandmate/boyfriend, as well as trying to figure out why children have been coming up missing in her small town. On the same night a scout from a prominent school shows interest in her, her brother's friend tries to assault her, and the brother and his friend are in an accident. This all happens so very quickly in the first chapter, setting up the beyond confusing events of the entire book.

I enjoyed the characterization, the story itself, and the inventiveness of the Talents. In a way, it reminded me of Xavier's school for Gifted Youngsters (Marvel's X-men). In fact, a main character is named Xavier.

But this all fell short with the execution of the storytelling. To me, it felt as if it was written as if the reader should know/understand what was going on because the author knew. There were huge plot holes that were never resolved, or just remembered near the end and quickly explained in a way that was out of place in the current scene.

Beth was 100% clueless (not clueless TSTL girl, but clueless to her predicament) from page one to the end as a way to keep the reader just as clueless, and this led to a very frustrating reading experience. After finishing it, I don't feel as if I know anything about the Talent system, because Beth didn't. It felt as if the author was making it up as they wrote the novel, and failed to go back and fill in the holes in the beginning. As a writer myself, I feel it evolved into something that wasn't the intention from the start. Like the initial idea was a Young Adult mystery surrounding music, but changed to paranormal.

In hopes of feeling Young Adult, the usual dances, crushes, and kissing were injected. But often at extremely odd times. Beth would be a dead girl walking, a minute later her girlfriend would shoo Vincent away, they'd giggle, and get ready for a dance. (No sleep, no food, no shower after crawling out of a labyrinth & nearly dying?) The amount of times that Beth kissed Vincent after thinking of Sam was beyond bizarre, right down to the final paragraph of the book itself. "Let's go find Sam!" ... we kissed and didn't come up for air for a very long time. The author was pushing to create a quadrangle between Beth, the missing Sam, Vincent, and Xavier. Vincent doesn't fit in the angle whatsoever, but he's the one Beth's always reluctantly macking on. Bizarre.

Will adult readers enjoy this book? Probably. There is mystery because it's meant to be a mystery, and then there is a mystery because of the execution of a storyline completely leaving out necessary information in a timely manner. It's enjoyable for an adult if they read as quickly as possible so they don't realize a lot is getting skipped. I basically just read the book, because it flowed from A to D with the reader just guessing how the author arrived at D, filling in B & C for themselves or not at all; and no, B & C were never explained.

Will Young Adult readers like this book? Most certainly. There is mystery to keep them interested. Action and paranormal elements. Characters who have crushes on one another (this is a bit forced from an adult POV).

Will I read the next in the series? I'm on the fence, as I did enjoy the story that was trying to be told, and I'm curious to see if the author's storytelling abilities improve, but I feel a bit let down after such a strong start devolved into an oddly paced book with a Talent system that was never fully developed nor explained.

Genre: Young Adult | Science Fiction/Paranormal | Mystery Suspense |

Age range: 14+ due to mild violence, grief, sexual contact is only kissing except for an interrupted assault.

Lisa Amowitz is an artist and graphic designer by trade, but writing has always been a deep and abiding passion. As a mom of an actual teen, she's not just writing YA; she's living it. Lisa is a member of Enchanted Inkpot, a YA fantasy blog.

Connect with Lisa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Until Beth (Life & Beth #1) by Lisa Amowitz to read and review.

Cover Reveal – The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow


Finding out that her new school had her in a special homeroom for witches was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. It’s a secret she needs to keep not only from the Head Elders, but from the super-sexy witch Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with even before he broke up with his long-term girlfriend, the vengeful witch Danielle.

Now Nicole and the four others gifted with powers over the elements, including Blake and Danielle, must stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Three magical items are needed, including the blood of the slain hydra – ingredients that they must journey to the dangerous, mystical islands in Greece to retrieve.

The monsters they face on this journey will be more threatening than anything they’ve encountered yet. But with the fate of the world on their shoulders, it’s up to the Elementals to return home victorious. Will they find the ingredients they need? Can Nicole and her friends pull off this mission while the tension between her, Blake, and Danielle threatens to ruin everything? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their next journey in their quest to save the world – or die trying.

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Releases April 18th

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Also Available in the Elementals Series

Book 1
Releases January 26th

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Michelle Madow has always loved writing stories, but the possibility of being an author used to feel more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t share her stories with anyone until her junior year of college, when she signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing course. Her teacher and classmates read the first chapter of a book idea she had, and they loved it so much that they told her she had to finish the book so they could find out what happened next. By the end of the school year, Michelle finished that book, which would later be published as her first novel, Remembrance.

Michelle grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Connect with Michelle

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second book in the Covenant series. I really liked this book, most likely because I enjoy a good love triangle. And this book has a serious love triangle.

I'm not going to lie, in Half-Blood I didn't really like Seth; however, in Pure he is kinda growing on me.

This book is full of action and mystery with a little bit of romance thrown in.

I will definitely be reading the rest of the series. I need to know what happens.

# 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories…which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel Don’t Look Back was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Connect with Jennifer

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Brought to you by

Dawn reviewed her personal copy of Pure (Covenant #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout for this post.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Morgan didn't mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive – first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can't move on. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she's underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can't hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I was immediately drawn into Underwater, and read 75% of it in one sitting (sleep overcame me as it was the middle of the night). For me, Morgan was a very relatable character from the start, who was atrophying in her apartment due to agoraphobia.

I started the novel without a clue on what caused the 17 year old to live in fear and anxiety. But for the sake of reviewing, I must give a tiny spoiler away. This is my 4th school shooting novel in less than 6 months that I've read. I don't go out of my way to find them, but it feels as if it's becoming a genre unto its own.

Morgan, a survivor of a school shooting, can't bear to leave her apartment, even going as far as to take the rest of her junior year courses online. She's pushed her friends away, neglecting her swimming, but is seeing a therapist at her home.

I felt Morgan was written with authenticity and compassion for agoraphobia & PTSD – with realism. The parallels between her absentee father who had tour after tour in the military, who is also suffering yet finding succor in the bottle.

Morgan meets the new next door neighbor, and it sparks her to make a change. This isn't insta-anything, except perhaps friendship. But like any 17 year old girl, she does find Evan cute, and it reminds her of who she used to be prior to October.

Underwater is a slow progression of Morgan's struggle to overcome agoraphobia, meaning the book's pacing does flow like molasses for the purpose of maintaining realism. The flow of information detailing the shooting, I felt, should have been faster to keep the reader engaged. It was released piecemeal, and I could sense there was always more coming. The knowledge itself felt beyond realistic, and I'd be a liar if I didn't say I shed more than a tear or two.

Underwater definitely took me through the gamut of emotions. Sweet and humorous between Morgan and her baby brother. Endearing between Morgan and her mother. Funny yet frustrating between Morgan and the neighbor, Evan. The novel delivered the feels.

The romance: It was necessary, as it was fuel for a 17 year old to move on. But after the slow pacing throughout the book, when it does happen late, it still seems too soon. I was frustrated and annoyed with Morgan constantly freezing Evan out. I understood why, but it became redundant after a few times for the reader. So when they do come together, it's within 10 minutes without truly talking about the whys or hows. After a couple hundred pages, it felt like BOOM! "Am I your boyfriend?" after Morgan finally decided to talk to Evan again, at her brother's machinations. 10 minutes. That's my too soon comment. It felt forced, like the author pulled the trigger on it to appease her YA readers (no pun intended). In this, friendship should have been in order first and foremost because I couldn't buy the romance angle. Everything else was flawlessly written.

Underwater is the emotional aftermath and healing in the wake of a tragic school shooting, and I highly recommend this title to Young Adults and those who are young at heart.

Young Adult age-range: 14+

Marisa Reichardt is a SoCal native and high school writing instructor. She has a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and dual undergraduate degrees in literature and creative writing from UC San Diego. She spent her college years shucking oysters, waiting tables, and peddling swimwear. She has spent her post-grad years writing, tutoring, and teaching. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family, and can usually be found huddled over her laptop in coffeehouses or swimming in the ocean.

Connect with Marisa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Underwater by Marisa Reichardt to read and review.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I have to preface this review with suitable age-range, as this is a Young Adult novel. This is a difficult task, and I believe that it's up to the parent to decide whether or not their child is the appropriate age. Note: the context of the novel is based solely around sex, and all the ramifications of the act, so that in and of itself would lend to a 17+ age-range. Some acts are described, but never in detail – just enough to propel the reader in the direction the author is heading. But looking back into my own childhood, I realize there were more than a few morals and lessons hidden in the pages that would have helped me out at say age 13/14. Parents: if your child reached puberty earlier than their peers, or are emotionally mature, I'd rate the book 14+.

Firsts captured me from word-one until the very end, and I look forward to whatever else this author writes in the future. I was hooked with the easy flow of first-person. Many prefer third-person narration, but with this stream of consciousness storytelling, it was a must to fully connect with the narrator.

Instead of the reader being hit with the whys of every character in the story, Mercedes was the focus – everything was her view of the world and its inner-workings. Not that there wasn't a strong cast of side characters with proper development. But this was Mercedes' story – a compelling character who would have been lessened if she hadn't been the sole narrator.

Is Mercedes a role model? Many parents would say no. But, as a child I dubbed a woman-child, I understand what it means to have your body be more mature than your heart or mind, and this leads to being taken advantage.

Without giving away the plot, Mercedes tries to right a wrong for all the girls in her school, while gaining her power back. But at the same time, two wrongs never make a right, and that's the lesson she learns during the journey she takes the reader on.

There is absolutely NO insta-anything. In fact, I had no idea who Mercedes' love interest would be/become until after the 75% mark, and for that I thank the author. That's what I enjoyed about Firsts, not the hard-hitting, provocative premise that will have many up in arms, but that it was not predicable. Yes, there were a few things that were not true to life, but I'll leave those to the critical reviews. I didn't know where Ms. Flynn was headed with the story, assuming it would go in one direction but it never did, and that's what entertained me. As a writer, that is not somewhere I often find myself. Reading is generally work for me, so surprising me is like someone gave me a gift.

My heart ached for Mercedes, and I understood her. I felt the author did a good job regarding consequences, and when Mercedes wanted to take all the blame, her friends made sure she realized it took two to tango with the devil.

A few reviews ago, I tore into an author who was against the No means No stance, stating that it should only be 'yes, means yes.' I had issues with this over the high probability of miscommunication, lack of personal responsibility, silencing your voice, saying yes but later wishing you could say no, and the fact that your partner is not a mind-reader. Firsts: In this circumstance, I will agree with yes means yes. Simply because anyone under the age of consent can say no, but none of them have the ability say yes & that is why I think this book, that many parents would probably reject their children reading, would be a life lesson.

Education is not erasing childhoods; it's protecting the innocent from coercion, as well as ensuring they themselves don't become the predator. No means No. Yes means Yes. Everyone should be taught the shades of gray in between.

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn went to school for journalism and later worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. She lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and her Chihuahua. Firsts is her first novel.

Connect with Laurie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn to read and review.

This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3 stars, because I have NO idea how to rate the book with it impossible to do so when my usual rating scale is based on entertainment value.

This is Where It Ends is obviously not a book meant for everyone. There is a small target audience who could/should read it due to its tough subject matter. I'm not entirely sure how to write a review, to be honest, and it's not often I'm at a loss on how to express myself with the written word.

This is Where It Ends is 54 minutes during a school shooting, in the point of view of the victims and the perpetrator. The writing flowed well, but that doesn't mean the book was easy to read in the emotional sense.

In the United States, we have been plagued with school shootings, and this has left a sense of fear in all of us that we try to ignore. But in reality, school shootings happen and children's lives are cut short by emotionally damaged peers. Collectively, we all have responsibility in how we behave and treat others without thinking of the ramifications. The victims are not to blame, but killers are made not born, and we must stop being someone else's emotional trigger. But in this story, I do wish the motives behind the attack would have been explored more. What turned the child into a killer?

Nijkamp's novel had a wealth of potential, and it was in no way exploitative, but wasn't executed properly. I felt the concept was far larger than the book. It didn't elicit the emotions that should have been torn from the reader because of a failure to connect due to character development issues. Though multiple-POVs, with a diverse cast ranging from lesbian to disabled, the story unravels what occurs during a school shooting.

For me, the use of so many POVs had me disconnecting, as the shorter page count couldn't support so many viewpoints without showing more emotion and character development, making it a jarring read. The transitioning from one point of view to the next wasn't fluid, nor did they each have a distinctive voice (if you read their words, they all sounded similar instead of the reader knowing who was narrating without being told).

Did I enjoy reading This is Where It Ends? No, simply because it was a difficult book to read. Am I glad that I read it? Yes, from an intellectual standpoint. Do I recommend this title? With a book with this subject matter, it truly is subjective to the individual reader.

It took me a little bit to find my feet with this book because it is told from various viewpoints. But once I got straight in my head who was who, the story flowed well. It is suspenseful and had me eagerly turning the pages. Even though we only get snippets of each of the characters, it was enough for me to be emotionally invested in the story and rooting for their survival.

This story did not provide any meaning of life type stuff or big revelations about life. This is Where It Ends shows us the horror, fear, helplessness, love and bravery these characters experience in a very short period. I'm glad I gave this story a shot and I have no doubt I'll think about it the next time I see a school shooting on the news.

Where do I start? This is a difficult book to review, I will honestly say that.
Many different characters and their points of view made the beginning a bit of a challenge, but once I was able to get them straight the rest of the story was OK.

This IS fiction. It isn't meant to be taken as THE authority on school shootings – this is for entertainment value only.

After I got to know the characters, I couldn't put this down.
Family ties, deep seated mental issues, and overall teenage angst all culminated in teleporting me back to high school.
Overall, this was an emotional story, the characters may have been a bit one dimensional (certainly the "shooter" was), but this was a terrifying journey into the middle of an awful situation that is unfortunately occurring too often in our society.

This was not an easy read, nor is it easy to review. It is definitely not a book for everyone. It is based on a sensitive subject, but isn't mean to be like a testimony from a school shooting victim, but a fictional story for the reader's entertainment.

I really struggled in the beginning of this book due to the frequent switching of points of view between characters. After a while, I sorted it out, but it wasn't a smooth transition. Once I was able to switch smoothly, the writing and story flowed freely and I was "entertained" enough to keep reading until I finished. I feel as though entertained is the wrong word to use for this subject matter, but the story, overall, was a quicker flowing read for me.

Emotionally, this was not an easy read. I felt that it did bring forth gripping emotions in me, but they were somewhat muted by the juvenile, somewhat under developed characters. I felt for them, but it wasn't as much as a strong devastating emotion that I would have felt with a more developed and/or beloved characters.

Overall, I'd say it was a good read. Especially for a younger teen/YA reader's standpoint as it is emotional, but not too much for them to handle. It is not a book for everyone and had its gripping, terrifying moments. It definitely stayed with me and had me thinking for a while. I definitely won't forget how it made me think and feel.

My first fence book of the year…And here we go. Some of the writing is chilling, quite frankly meeting a kid with a gun in a locked room full of children is painfully now a reality. Why talk things out when you can hold all the anger inside you until you combust. The bigger event should be that we are not teaching our kids how to deal with emotional issues. Cries of help unheard here. The author doesn't even use anyone we can connect with but someone who we can't. I was hoping for a better read but we got various viewpoints from everyone involved in the story...I'd have rather followed one character. Still, I think there are benefits of reading this book, and I can't say enjoy would be a word to use when reading a book of this sort. Enlightened then. Three stars.

Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. Her debut young adult novel This Is Where It Ends, a contemporary story that follows four teens over the course of the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting, is published by Sourcebooks Fire.

Connect with Marieke

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp to read and review.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Iniquity by Amy A. Bartol

I gasp as my body curls toward Brennus like a flower to the sun, for the pleasure of it. He holds me close to him. His nose grazes the length of my neck. He breathes me in. I feel the roar and rush of my heartbeat. I’m his toy; his energy streams into me. He winds the invisible key in my back and the euphoria ratchets and coils inside of me: tick...tick...tick...

Another wicked surge of energy flows from him into me. Pain. Pleasure. Bliss. My jaw unclenches as my lips part. I make a small, breathy sound as we dance. Brennus responds with something close to a growl. “Ye’re killing me, mo chroí,” he murmurs. His hand moves down my back infusing me with a golden glow of power. My wings punch violently from me, tearing a hole in my day dress. They spread wide, like a red stain beyond my pale skin. I’m dancing now for the thrill of it. I follow his lead.

As the song comes to an end, Brennus kisses my throat. He whispers in my ear, “When ye get back, come find me, mo chroí. I’ve healed wake up and banjax whoever banished ye here...”

Add to Goodreads

Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the final instalment in The Premonition series. It picks up right where book four left off. Evie and Reed have all the odds against them now that they have turned their backs on Tau and his army of angels.

There is also a new (of old threat) that Evie has to deal with.

Evie has no idea what her mission on earth is or why she is there, with all her memories wiped she has to rely on her gut for guidance. However, one mistake from an old enemy makes all the rules change.

This was a total rollercoaster from start to finish. Every page I turned I was scared as I didn’t know if anyone would survive or who Evie would choose in the end. It was a fantastic end to The Premonition series and I was very sad to say goodbye to the characters.

If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would.

I am a graduate of Hillsdale College and live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. They often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my "writing uniform" consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

Connect with Amy

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Brought to you by

Dawn reviewed her personal copy of Iniquity (The Premonition #5) by Amy A. Bartol for this post.